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27th of June

Jeffrey Marcus interview with Corey Parker

I am re-printing an interview that I did with the estimable actor and coach, Corey Parker, with whom I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with at the beginnings of our careers at the Public Theater in NYC.

Corey’s blog is Corey Parker for the Actor

Corey: When did you know that you wanted to be an actor?

Jeffrey: I can’t remember not knowing that I wanted to be an actor, but I do know that where I come from – there was no theater. Even my high school had no theater department. There was a gym teacher, and anything that was remotely artistic was frowned upon. So I was a closeted actor. I remember going up to my room, closing the door, and acting out things. I decided to leave High School early and to do so, I had to go to summer school at Exeter. I auditioned for the play there, which was Spoon River Anthology, the first play I ever auditioned for. There were scores of other kids auditioning, and there were12 or 15 spots. I promised myself that if I got in this play, acting would be my life’s journey. I auditioned and I got a role, and from then on my focus was unwavering.
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Categories:  Blog
23rd of February


While we may talk a lot about our actions (what we’re actively doing) in scenes, the choice that adds the most ‘flavor and spice’ to any event is the obstacles. Obstacles, for our purposes, are the challenges that are keeping us from attaining what we want.

In our day to day life, we spend an inordinate amount of time (and wasting far too much energy) on our obstacles: financial, romantic, health or familial.

“If acting were easy, everyone would do it”, is an oft repeated phrase. Part of what draws us to our life’s endeavors are the challenges that are presented. Think of how boring life would be if you arrived in LA, immediately were given gig after gig, never having to struggle – you’d probably invent issues so that there was something to feel challenged by (Oy, so many lines to learn and not enough down time!).

Even our ‘nerves’ in the audition are a challenge that we wish we didn’t have, but without this adrenaline coursing through our being, we may not have the capacity to go as deeply or reach for the stars. Tension is like salt, the perfect amount brings out the flavor of the dish – too much and it’s all that you can taste. Obstacles, married to the intention, create the dynamic tension in any performance.

As you go through your day, notice and embrace your obstacles, as opportunities to reach higher and dig deeper. This is the way the we expand ourselves and build our actor’s tool belt.

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Categories:  Blog

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